The Pros and Cons of RV Solar Systems

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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solar pros and cons

Many RVers hit the road without solar power systems, especially those that are new to the lifestyle. This is because many new full-timers don’t know if they will enjoy the lifestyle enough to commit to investing more money into it and others don’t have experience dry camping and aren’t even sure if they’ll like it.

Investing in RV solar power seems like a smart move if you fall into either of those two categories. But if you already know that you enjoy getting off the beaten path paying for a good RV solar power system before you hit the road is a better idea. If you are undecided as to whether to get RV Solar Power, here are some pros and cons to help with your decision.


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RV Solar Power Cons

1. RV Solar Power Can Be Expensive

A cheap system that can cost you less than $1000 is helpful but is probably not going to power everything you need to be comfortable. Cheaper systems are often smaller and not as powerful even when you make upgrades. You need to invest in a system that has enough power for all of the items we feel make your lives comfortable and productive.

More robust systems can cost between $3000 and $4000.

2. RV Solar Power Can Be Complicated

You will need to know a little about electricity and the things you must do to plan for the right RV solar system, like performing an energy audit. You can pay someone to do it for you, which will be an additional cost, or try and figure it out yourself. Once the system is installed, it’s pretty self-managing but occasional glitches do happen, so you need to stay on top of maintenance. You also have to make sure you park where the sun can reach your panels. But, even in shady areas, your panels can still absorb the rays as you drive and have power ready for when you are parked. If you need a person to walk you through your DIY Solar installation, contact

3. Requires Time to Recoup the Investment

One of the reasons RV solar is so popular is because of the ability to reduce your camping fees, if not eliminate them altogether. You can enjoy free camping on public lands while living off-grid and solar power ends up paying for itself in just a few years. You practically eliminate Rv camping fees, so depending on the complexity of your RV solar system and how often you dry camp without hookups, you’ll enjoy recouping the investment, so long as you have patience.

Big Benefits of RV Solar

You know the cons, so now you need to know the three biggest reasons why you’ll end up happy with the investment in RV solar power.

1. RV Solar Gives Freedom

RV vacations are the first step toward experiencing the freedom of the open road. Full-time RVing is a huge leap forward to total independence and solar power makes it even better. You get the ability to camp anywhere you’d like, whether that means overnighting in a big box parking lot or hauling your rig 20 miles into the wilderness. You no longer have to pay for a campsite which can be limited with space. Having solar power also lets you work while you are on the road. Check in with business matters when needed and work anywhere you want.

2. RV Solar Saves Money

By investing a few thousand dollars into a system that’s powerful enough to comfortably sustain your lifestyle, you can recoup your investment in as little as one RVing season. For avid campers that enjoy living off the grid and away from campsites, you save on rent and fees. If your energy audit shows that you don’t need much power and you use a smaller system, you can recoup the investment even faster. As an added bonus, you’ll use less fuel in your generator, which is another substantial savings. Once RV solar is paid for, every dollar you don’t spend on rent is money in the bank.

3. RV Solar is Reliable

Camping and RVing come with the risk of power outages in campgrounds, usually because of harsh weather. While most people will just switch on the generators, with solar power you only need to push the “power” button on the inverter and get back to living. On cloudy days, you will need to rely on your generator but depending on where you go, these days can be rare.

Once you have power from the sun, you can go anywhere you’d like and live as inexpensively as you want. Nothing gets you closer to real freedom than that. If you have an RV solar electric system, it is worth considering switching to solar to save money and in no time you will see that having the sun’s awesome ability to power your lifestyle will be the only way to RV.

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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